St. Patricks day weekend was cause for celebration for many people all over the country but it was also a big weekend for motorsport freaks like us. In addition to Sebring the past weekend also saw the return of Formula One. I decided to kick the weekend off by paying a visit to one of my favorite meets: Cars & Coffee in Irvine.
It was the first time I had been to the meet since the start of the year so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see an even more eclectic mix of cars than I was used to. There was everything from million-dollar exotics to a few rare classics. I even saw a crazy turbo-diesel zombie apocalypse truck! (more on that in a later post).
However, I would have to say the meet’s biggest attention getter was a genuine Bugatti Veyron brought by Symbolic Motor Cars of San Diego. As jaded as I am these days even I am still impressed with a Veyron sighting. I have only been in the presence of Bugatti’s hyper-car four times and only two of which (counting the weekend) were “wild” sightings.
All in all it was a great trip. If you haven’t been to Cars & Coffee I would highly recommend checking it out. If you’re saying to yourself: “Hey jerk, I don’t live in Southern California!” I would say “don’t interrupt me while I’m talking!” See, the cool thing about Cars & Coffee is that it is something of an organization now so there are meets in several places all across America; even in Europe! Just head to CarsAndCoffeeOnline.com to find the closest meet to you.
For a few years now there has been tons of speculation, rumors, and leaks about what Ferrari would come up with as its true successor to the Enzo. Today at the Geneva Motorshow it all came to a head when Ferrari pulled the silky red sheet off what they call the “LaFerrari” (click the red text for the official microsite). It was clear here that Ferrari was not going to try and top the name “Enzo” (the company’s name sake).
“The Ferrari” as it translates to is what Ferrari calls their “maximum expression of excellence”. I would be inclined to agree with them on that. LaFerrari is absolutely beautiful! Despite being an aggressive hyper car, LaFerrari is still very elegant in both mechanical and aesthetic design.
LaFerrari is completely hand built in the same facility as Ferrari’s F1 cars with its body panels and chassis being comprised of several types of hand-laid carbon fiber materials culminating in a shape that has an aerodynamic coefficient of “nearly 3″ (that’s good).
In the back of LaFerrari is a 6.3 liter V12 engine that makes 789HP at 9,000RPM. That’s right; This massive V12 revs up to (and just past) 9,000RPM! But wait, there’s more. Mated to the V12 engine is a 160hp electric motor which is powered by Ferrari’s HY-KERS system that they developed through their F1 effort. The two motors make a combined power out put of 949HP, yet LaFerrari is more efficient than the Enzo. LaFerrari also laps Ferrari’s Fiorano test track 5 seconds faster than the Enzo.
There has been no announcement on price as of yet but Ferrari has stated that only 499 examples of this beauty will be produced. Given its performance, hand-made construction, and extremely limited run I would expect that this car will probably sticker somewhere between $700-$900k with dealer mark-ups bringing it well into the millions. Having said that though, you technically still have a much better chance on grabbing a LaFerrari versus the new Lamborghini Veneno!
For videos that explain just about everything you want to know about the car as well as the press release, scroll down!
Maranello, 5th March 2013 – The wraps are finally off the LaFerrari. The Prancing Horse’s eagerly-anticipated limited-series special, of which just 499 will be built, made its world debut today at the Geneva International Motor Show.
“We chose to call this model LaFerrari,” declared Ferrari’s President, Luca di Montezemolo, “because it is the maximum expression of what defines our company – excellence. Excellence in terms of technological innovation, performance, visionary styling and the sheer thrill of driving. Aimed at our collectors, this is a truly extraordinary car which encompasses advanced solutions that, in the future, will find their way onto the rest of the range, and it represents the benchmark for the entire automotive industry. LaFerrari is the finest expression of our company’s unique, unparalleled engineering and design know-how, including that acquired in Formula 1.”
For Ferrari the development of a limited-series special like the LaFerrari represents an opportunity to experiment with all the technological solutions that will later filter down onto the production cars. Of particular significance in this context is the introduction of the hybrid system which, making full use of the Scuderia Ferrari’s F1 KERS know-how, has resulted in a solution that exalts Ferrari’s fundamental values – performance and driving thrills. The hybrid technology used, known as HY-KERS, represents the perfect combination of maximum performance and lower emissions. LaFerrari in fact emits just 330 g/km of CO2 but without resorting to electric-only drive which would not fit the mission of this model. The HY-KERS system is, however, designed so that in future applications a car can be driven using exclusively electric power for a few kilometres and, during development testing, a full-electric version of LaFerrari achieved just 220 g/km of C02 emissions on the combined cycle.
The LaFerrari is equipped with dynamic controls that are integrated for the first time ever on a Ferrari road car with active aerodynamics and the HY-KERS system. Thanks to Ferrari’s proprietary logic which govern all the systems, the car can achieve absolute levels of performance, aerodynamic efficiency and handling without any form of compromise in any area. A very advanced and uncompromising approach was also taken with the interior design which features an HMI inspired by F1 single-seaters.
The LaFerrari’s architecture posed the first challenge for the Prancing Horse team at the planning stage of the design. The aim was to achieve ideal weight distribution (59% at the rear) and a compact wheelbase despite the extra bulk of the hybrid system. The result is that all of the masses are situated between the car’s two axles and as close as possible to the floor to lower its centre of gravity (by 35 millimetres) and thereby guarantee dynamic handling and compact dimensions.
The layout of the cabin made a significant contribution in this regard. The seat is fixed and tailored to the driver while both the pedal box and steering wheel are adjustable. The driving position is similar to that of a single-seater and was designed after consultation with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who played an active role throughout the entire development process.
The LaFerrari’s chassis features no less than four different types of carbon-fibre, all hand-laminated and autoclave-cured in the racing department using the same design and production methods as the Formula 1 car. This helped optimise the design: various functions were integrated (e.g. seats and battery compartment) into the chassis to improve torsional rigidity (+27%) and beam stiffness (+22%) whilst cutting weight.
The LaFerrari is the first car in Ferrari history to be powered by the HY-KERS system. The ICE represents the pinnacle of engine development and research, with a 6262 cc V12 that punches out 800 CV and revs to a maximum of 9,250 rpm, a record for an engine of this displacement. It also features a very high 13.5:1 compression ratio and a high specific output equal to 128 CV per litre. The engine is coupled with a 120 Kw (163 CV) electric motor, giving it a combined power output of 963 CV.
The high torque levels available at low revs from the electric motor allowed the engineers to optimise the internal combustion engine’s performance at higher revs, thus providing a constant supply of exceptional power throughout the rev range. Total torque generated is in excess of 900 Nm. The hybrid system is composed of two electric motors developed in collaboration with Magneti Marelli – one powering the driven wheels and the second the ancillaries – and a battery pack attached to the floor of the chassis consisting of cells that are assembled in the Scuderia Ferrari department where the KERS for the F138 is also made. The Scuderia’s expertise allowed considerable savings in weight and size of the individual components and the batteries weigh just 60 kg while providing the highest energy density possible for this kind of application.
The batteries are charged in different ways: under braking (even hard braking with the ABS active) and every time the V12 produces more torque than required, such as in cornering. In the latter instance, rather than the being sent to the wheels, the excess torque is converted to energy and stored in the batteries.
The electric motor is coupled with the F1 dual-clutch gearbox to the benefit of optimal weight distribution, but also to boosting energy efficiency as torque is instantly available to the wheels and, vice versa, from the wheels to the electric motor in recharging.
Active aerodynamics play an essential role, as they allow a complete adjustability of the car’s configuration to attain LaFerrari’s exceptional performance.
The engineers’ aim was to deliver the highest degree of aerodynamic efficiency ever achieved with any road car, with a coefficient of nearly 3, thanks to technical solutions honed with CFD analysis and fine-tuned in the F1 Wind Tunnel.
To boost efficiency, the LaFerrari sports active aerodynamic devices front (diffusers and guide vane on the underbody) and rear (diffusers and rear spoiler) which generate downforce when needed without compromising the car’s overall drag coefficient. These devices deploy automatically on the basis of a number of different performance parameters which are monitored in real time by the car’s dynamic vehicle controls, thus guaranteeing the ideal configuration on the basis of the driving conditions.
One further innovative aspect of the LaFerrari is the integration of its active aerodynamics and hybrid system with the other dynamic control systems aboard. This means the car responds intelligently to driver inputs, making for a seamless blend of unprecedented performance and unparalleled driving emotions.
Proprietary Ferrari algorithms deliver optimal integration of the electric motor and V12 for instantaneous response. In cornering, for instance, the HY-KERS keeps the V12′s revs high to guarantee better acceleration on exit.
The LaFerrari’s Brembo braking system is also integrated with the hybrid system, and incorporates several new features, including new lightweight callipers designed to guarantee correct cooling and carbon-ceramic material (CCM) discs featuring a new composition.
The car’s extreme performance potential called for a different tyre set-up, with 265/30 R 19 Pirelli P-Zeros on the front and 345/30 R 20s on the rear.
All in all the car guarantees maximum driving thrills in every situation and performance levels are top level: 0-100 km/h in less than 3 seconds and 0-200 km/h in under 7 seconds, a lap time at Fiorano of under 1’20″ – 5 seconds faster than the Enzo and over 3 seconds faster than the F12berlinetta. LaFerrari is thus the fastest road car in Maranello’s long history.
Styling The Ferrari design team led by Flavio Manzoni developed the LaFerrari’s styling working in close synergy with the engineers to emphasise the exacting link between form and function. The result is an extreme, innovative design which retains close links to the marque’s tradition. This is most evident in its side profile: the car has a sharp, downward-sloping nose and a very low bonnet which emphasises its muscular wheelarches, a clear nod to the gloriously exuberant forms of late-1960s Ferrari sports prototypes.
The LaFerrari’s body has been given a sculptural treatment heavily influenced by its clearly F1-inspired aerodynamics and a tail section that exudes uncompromising sportiness.
Inside there’s a newly-designed steering wheel sporting all the major commands, and the gear-shift paddles are now longer and more ergonomic. The signature bridge on which the F1 gearbox functions are clustered has taken on a sleek, suspended wing-like shape. The whole interior, in fact, has a fiercely track-inspired, pared-back allure.
The Ferrari range
Aside from the new limited-series special, the Ferrari stand also features the complete range which is the most wide-ranging and critically acclaimed in its entire history. The five models all share the same Ferrari DNA in terms of performance, driving pleasure and technology, yet each one has its own strongly unique identity, in line with the company’s philosophy of “different Ferraris for different Ferraristi”.
Ferrari’s 12-cylinder GT sports car prowess is represented at Geneva by the FF, the very first four-seater and four-wheel drive in Prancing Horse history. It will be sporting a Grigio Ingrid livery with an elegant glass roof and Iroko interior. The FF is also now seamlessly integrated with Apple technologies, thanks to direct access to the infotainment system via SIRI voice commands and the adoption of two iPad Minis as the entertainment system of choice for the rear seat passengers.
Blistering performance and sublime driving pleasure even at low speeds are assured behind the wheel of the multi-award-winning F12berlinetta, which is powered by a mid-front V12. Unique handling characteristics, extreme aerodynamics and an innovative yet classic design are its signatures. The car on show at Geneva has a Grigio Silverstone livery and a Sella di Cavallo interior.
Moving on to the 8-cylinders, the California 30, in sophisticated Nero Stellato with a Crema interior, is a convertible GT that uncompromisingly marries sportiness and versatility. The California’s already-massive popularity with both press and public alike grew still further after its V8′s output was upped by 30 hp to 490 hp, and 30 kg was slashed off its overall weight.
The blistering 458 Italia is a sublime, thoroughbred sports car. It and its drop-top sibling, the 458 Spider, are equipped with the same extraordinary mid-rear-mounted V8 engine which was named International Engine of the Year in both 2011 and 2012. These two models continue Ferrari’s glorious tradition with this particular layout. The coupé seen at Geneva sports an aggressive Bianco Avus livery and sleek black interior with carbon-fibre trim, while the Spider, which dominates the Tailor-Made extreme personalisation area, takes its inspiration from the legendary 1957 250 Testa Rossa that sold for a record 16 million dollars at auction at Pebble Beach in 2011. It has the same red and blue livery and a host of competition car details in its cabin, not least of which are suede-upholstered seats and Alutex trim.
Total maximum power 963 CV
Total maximum torque >900 Nm
V12 maximum power* 800 CV @9000 rpm
Maximum revs 9250 rpm
V12 maximum torque 700 Nm @6750 rpm
Electric motor output 120 Kw (163 CV)
CO2 emissions** 330 g/km
Maximum speed over 350 km/h
0-100 km/h <3 sec
0-200 km/h <7 sec
0 – 300 km/h 15 sec
Type 65-deg. V12
Bore and stroke 94 x 752 mm
Total displacement 6262 cc
Compression ratio 13.5:1
Specific power 128 CV/l
Length 4702 mm
Width 1992 mm
Height 1116 mm
Wheelbase 2650 mm
Weight distribution 41% fr, 59% r
Front double wishbones
Front 265/30 – 19
Rear 345/30 – 20
Carbon ceramic brakes (Brembo)
Front 398 x 223 x 36 mm
Rear 380 x 253 x 34 mm
ESC stability control
High performance ABS/EBD Sistema frenata anti bloccaggio prestazionale /electronic brake balance
EF1-Trac F1 electronic traction control integrated with the hybrid system
E-Diff 3 third generation electronic differential
SCM-E Frs magnetorheological damping with twin solenoids (Al-Ni tube)
* with dynamic ram effect
Sometimes the world of high-end performance and luxury cars crosses paths with haute fashion. The collaboration is natural because, well lets face it, most of the people who can afford a six figure car tend to wear threads from Gucci, Armani, and the like. Some of these crossovers work nicely and sometimes they really don’t. One such fashion designer who continues to cross over into the automotive world is Japanese designer NIGO, the creative mind behind lines such as “A Bathing Ape” (AKA Bape) and Billionaire Boys Club (BBC). NIGO is a bit of a gear head and will use just about any excuse to cross his eccentric visual style with just about any type of car that grabs his fancy at the time.
His latest crossover canvas is a Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 race car. NIGO whipped up a vinyl wrap printed with his signature “BAPE” camo graphic and applied it to Ferrari’s newest GT race car for a grand opening event of a new Ferrari Maserati showroom in Hong Kong.
This creation was the centerpiece of the event attended by a small group of VIPs and probably a few potential customers. While I haven’t personally decided if I like what NIGO did here or not yet, I can at least admit that this is much better than what he did to his Bugatti Veyron..
If you happen to like what NIGO did here then feel free to click the thumbnail below for a wallpaper size version of the picture above.
Last Saturday morning I decided to once again torture myself for you by waking up earlier than time itself to make the trek to Mazda North American HQ in Irvine, CA for the weekly Cars & Coffee meet. OK, so maybe I did not wake up quite as early as I should have but it was still early! I still managed to get there with enough time to snap some shots of the nicer cars at the show and there were some nice rides indeed. A Ferrari Enzo made an appearance as well as few Audi R8′s and a nice Lamborghini that I will show you in depth later. For now you can check out a few pics below and then head to our Facebook gallery to see the full set.
OK, first things first. I totally forgot about the British GP in my last post race report so allow me to formally say “my bad”. Now on to business. Over the weekend Formula 1 returned to the Silverstone Circuit for the British Grand Prix, the home GP of the McLaren team (and both their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button) as well as the Red Bull Racing team. However with all the British pride on the grid it was Ferrari putting on a show for the crowd as Fernando Alonso was kicking butt all weekend. He started by qualifying on pole in the wet, then on race day the skies parted and sunshine hit Silverstone, to which he took full advantage of. On a dry track it seemed like he would be unstoppable as he was able to brilliantly manage his tires despite the fact that his team was a bit thrown off by the sudden run of good weather.
Fernando pushed and pushed and it looked like he was well on his way to earn his third win of the season but as the race started to wind down, so did his tires. Mark Webber, who was on fresher tires was able to capitalize on Fernando’s misfortune and grabbed the lead away from the Spaniard and continued to drive on to a victory at Red Bull Racing’s home GP. Fernando took second (retaining the points lead), and Sebastien Vettel earned third place.
A Formula One car is one of the only race cars in the world that can decelerate nearly as fast as it accelerates. You might be used to that fact but when you really stop and think about it, being able to scrub off so much speed in such a short a mount of time and short distances is nothing short of amazing as well as important. Many passes during a race are decided by who has better brakes going into a corner. To pull off such a feat F1 cars need incredibly advanced stopping systems. Usually, F1 teams are pretty hush-hush about how any of their internal systems work but in a rare moment of transparency Brembo and Ferrari created this awesome virtual fly through video that highlights each component of the Ferrari F2012 braking system! I must say, after watching the video I am pretty impressed at how simple yet effective Brembo’s set up really is. You definitely want to check this out!
Today Ferrari debuted their “fastest most powerful” car ever when they introduced the world to the new F12 Berlinetta. From what I can understand the Berlinetta seems to be a replacement for the 599. Essentially what the engineers at Maranello did was start where the 599 left off but decreased weight and dimensions while adding a whole bunch of horsepower to a new V12, 740 horses total to be exact. That figure officially makes the F12 Berlinetta the most powerful Ferrari to ever leave the factory. It has also set the record as the fastest Ferrari around their test track, beating the 599 GTO by a full second which may as well be an eternity.
No price or release date has been given but I am sure whatever those stats may be are moot as the richest of the rich are probably already securing their orders with their local dealers. We will find out for sure when the F12 Berlinetta makes its show debut at the Geneva Motor Show.
For now take a look at the first official pictures and a few videos.
Maranello, 29th February 2012 – Today’s on-line unveiling of the F12berlinetta ushers in a new generation of Ferrari 12-cylinders in the form of a car that delivers unprecedented performance from an exceptional new engine, combined with innovative design that redefines classic themes along with extreme aerodynamics.
Revealed to the world for the first time on Ferrari.com in preparation for its official debut at the Geneva International Motor Show, the F12berlinetta, finished in an attractive new Rosso Berlinetta three-layer colour, represents the very cutting-edge of mid-front-engined sports cars.
This is, in fact, the most powerful and high-performance Ferrari road car ever launched thanks to the incredibly efficient engine – in terms of mechanical, combustion and fluid-dynamics efficiency – which, together with advanced vehicle architecture, aerodynamics, components and electronic controls, guarantee unsurpassed driving involvement whatever the road or track.
Ferrari’s traditional transaxle layout has been revolutionised to match the more extreme performance of the car. The wheelbase has been shortened and the engine, dashboard and seats have been lowered in the chassis, while the new layout of the rear suspension and gearbox enabled Ferrari’s engineers to make the rear volume of the car smaller. The overall result is a very compact car with a lower centre of gravity that is further back in the chassis, and a level of aerodynamic efficiency that sets new standards.
Scaglietti, renowned for its expertise in aluminium materials and construction, designed an all-new spaceframe chassis and bodyshell using 12 different kinds of alloys, some of which have been used here for the first time in the automotive sector, and employing new assembly and joining techniques. This has resulted in a 20 per cent increase in structural rigidity while reducing weight to just 1525 kg (70 kg less than the previous V12 coupé) with an ideal distribution between the axles (54 per cent over the rear).
The F12berlinetta’s 6262cc 65° V12 engine delivers unprecedented performance and revs for a naturally-aspirated 12-cylinder. Its maximum power output is 740 CV which translates to a specific output of 118 CV/l. Torque reaches a peak of 690 Nm, 80 per cent of which is already available at just 2,500 rpm, and which provides an unrelenting surge of acceleration all the way to the 8,700 rpm limit. The engine is mated to the F1 dual-clutch transmission, which has closer gear ratios developed specifically for this car’s performance. The F12berlinetta boasts a weight-to-power ratio of just 2.1 kg/CV .
Fuel consumption has been reduced by 30%, with CO2 emissions of just 350 g/km – figures which put the F12berlinetta at the top of the high-performance league. These results have been obtained by extensive research and development which focused on efficiencies of the whole vehicle: engine, aerodynamics, tyres and weights.
Similarly excellent results have been obtained with the car’s aerodynamic development, thanks to the integration of the design process with extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations and lengthy testing in the wind tunnel. Downforce has been boosted by 76 per cent (123 kg at 200 km/h) while drag has been significantly reduced (the Cd is just 0.299). These results come courtesy of two new solutions. The first of these is the Aero Bridge which uses the bonnet to generate downforce by channelling air away from the upper part of the car to its flanks where it interacts with the wake from the wheel wells to decrease drag. The second is Active Brake Cooling, a system that opens guide vanes to the brake cooling ducts only at high operating temperatures, again reducing drag.
The F12berlinetta’s impressive technical specifications are completed by Ferrari’s latest generation carbon-ceramic brakes (CCM3) and the evolution of the magnetorheological suspension control system (SCM-E). As is now traditional with all Ferraris, its control systems (E-Diff, ESP Premium, F1-Trac, and high-performance ABS) are all fully integrated.
The result is that the new Prancing Horse 12-cylinder accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 3.1 seconds and from 0 to 200 km/h in 8.5 seconds. It also completes a lap of the Fiorano circuit in 1’23″, faster than any other Ferrari road car. Benchmark performance and maximum driving involvement are guaranteed by immediate turn-in, with smaller steering wheel angles, and increased cornering speed. Stopping distances have also been drastically reduced.
The design of the F12berlinetta is a result of the collaboration between the Ferrari Styling Centre and Pininfarina and is a perfect balance of uncompromising aerodynamics with harmonious proportions interpreting the typical elements of Ferrari’s front-engined V12 cars in an original and innovative way. A coupé with sleek, aggressive lines whose compact exterior dimensions conceal exceptional in-car space and comfort. The all-new Frau leather interior highlights the balance of advanced technology and sophisticated, handcrafted detailing. In the middle of the light and lean dashboard, there are new carbon fibre and aluminium air vents clearly inspired by the aeronautic field.
The cabin has been optimised to ensure maximum usability of the interior space with additional luggage capacity behind the seats, which can also be easily reached thanks to the large aperture offered by the tail-gate. With the cockpit designed around the driver, typical of all Ferraris, the Human Machine Interface approach is emphasised, grouping all the major commands within immediate reach to guarantee maximum ergonomics for the most involving driving experience.
Type 65-degree V12
Total displacement 6262 cc
Maximum power output 740 CV at 8500 rpm
Maximum torque 690 Nm at 6000 rpm
Dimensions and weight
Length 4618 mm
Width 1942 mm
Height 1273 mm
Dry weight* 1525 kg
Weight distribution 46% front, 58% rear
Weight-power ratio 2,1 kg/CV
Maximum speed over 340 km/h
0-100 km/h 3.1 seconds
As I mentioned in the previous post the location that Mazda chose to hold their sixth annual motorsports pre-season meeting was the Crevier Classic Cars collection in Costa Mesa, CA. Essentially this facility houses rows and rows of both classic and modern exotic cars for visitors and members to store, sell, or just drool over. If you are ever in the southern California area I would definitely recommend paying a visit to this place. Also, if you happen to be a rich bastard, a few of the cars on display are actually for sale. Scroll below for a few of the cars that caught my eye and head to our facebook gallery for all the shots.
Recently wheel gurus HRE decided to get nostalgic and breathe new life into designs they penned many years ago (think 80s) for the super cars of that era (Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini). Dubbed the “Vintage Series” these designs add some serious retro-class-goodness to today’s 458 Italia, Murcielago, and 911. If you want to see how these throwback rollers are born then you should definitely check out the video below. If you love wheels then you will thank me for this!
With juggernauts like Forza Motorsport, Gran Turismo, the DiRT series, and F1 series the “Test Drive” franchise by Atari has been losing steam. Their last game managed a blip but little else. For their next go Atari has decided to become a lot more focused in their efforts and make the next Test Drive game limited to just Ferraris. In “Test Drive: Ferrari Racing League” players will experience Rally, GT, and even F1 style racing while exploring over 50 different types of Ferraris on 36 race tracks. It should also be noted that the same development team behind the first two “Need For Speed: SHIFT” games will be working on this new Ferrari adventure with Atari, so I would say expect the same audibly-driven visceral feeling that players were treated to in the SHIFT games.